Please note: This was published over a year ago. Phone numbers, email addresses and other information may have changed.
Enrollment Static at PCC for Fall Term
Photos and Story by Susan Hereford
After a solid summer term enrollment jump of more than 11 percent, the Institutional Research department reports flat fall term enrollment at Portland Community College, the state’s largest postsecondary institution.
"We had hoped the gains would hold, but most of our students are working full and part time and because the economy is strong in the Portland-metro area, our students are working more, and not back in school," said Don McInnis, Educational Services vice president.
College wide, the full-time-equivalent enrollment is modestly up from the same time last year, .6 percent. However, the number of students enrolling is down .2 percent from last fall at the same time. Full-time-equivalent enrollment is a standard method of calculating a commensurate number of full-time enrollments based on a traditional three-term course load — 45 credit hours for the academic year.
Enrollment at the college stands at 34,976 at the end of the fourth week of fall term, compared to 35,037 last year, a loss of 61 students. The college typically enrolls 82,000 students annually. Full-time-equivalent enrollment is 5,769 this fall, versus 5,736 last fall term, a gain of 33 full-time enrollments. Full-time-equivalent enrollment each year is usually about 15,500.
A snapshot of fall term gains and losses shows that the college’s traditional career and occupational programs, as well as the transfer courses, show a slight decrease, 1 percent and 1.4 percent respectively. However, short-term upgrade training has leaped, up 37.6 percent from last fall; the apprentice category has jumped by 50 percent when compared to last year.
By campus, Sylvania enrolled 12,156 students, compared to 12,089 last year, a .6 percent increase. Full-time-equivalent enrollments are down 2.2 percent from the same time last year. Transfer courses show a 2.8 percent drop, and career and occupation programs are down 1.6 percent from last year. Sylvania is the college’s largest campus, situated in the southwest Portland-metro area between the communities of Lake Oswego and Tigard.
Cascade, in North Portland, is showing a full-time-equivalent gain of 6 percent from the same time last year. There is a 9.3 percent increase in transfer course enrollments. Career programs show a 10.1 percent drop, but much of the decrease is due to a reconfiguration of contact hours and not a real drop in enrollment.
At Rock Creek Campus, located in Washington County near the communities of Hillsboro and Beaverton, both full-time equivalent and head count enrollment are up, respectively 2.9 percent and 2.6 percent. This fall, 4,783 students are enrolled in classes, compared to 4,662 last year.
The Open Campus, which provides short-term training, personal enrichment and literacy courses at some 200 locations in the Portland-metro area shows a decline of 2.4 percent in its full-time equivalent enrollments.